×

Suzanne Collins: ‘Games’ author shapes bestseller for bigscreen

Youth Impact Report 2012: Bigscreen Chaperones

After 16 years as a scribe for “Clarissa Takes It All,” “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” and other children’s programming, Suzanne Collins hit the stratospheric heights climbed by J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer with her book series, “The Hunger Games.”

Collins’ fans include fellow authors Meyer and Stephen King (who blurbed the first book with “I couldn’t stop reading”), producer Nina Jacobson and director Gary Ross. Jacobson and Ross loved it so much they optioned and adapted “The Hunger Games” into one of the year’s highest-grossing movies.

Suzanne is so good at that kind of propulsive storytelling that makes you not want the books to end,” says Jacobson.

Collins’ dystopian trilogy blends Rowling’s adolescent character development and world building with Meyer’s gift for swoon-worthy teen romance.

But unlike other authors who stepped away from the page-to-screen transition, Collins has stayed involved.

“We work very closely,” says Jacobson. “It’s always important to me that she feels her voice comes through, that the values of the book come through in the movies.”

No stranger to writers’ rooms, Collins worked closely with Ross as well, collaborating with him on the final script and even sitting in on the casting auditions — particularly those of protagonist Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and the two young men vying for her love, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth).

“She was at my audition process, which made me nervous … but she was supportive all the way through,” Hutcherson recalls. “It meant a lot to have her involved, because it gave fans that sense of security that the author wasn’t just handing something they loved off to be made into a movie.”

Impact: Wrote the “Hunger Games” trilogy and co-penned the script.
Next: Working with director Francis Lawrence to keep sequels “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” true to the spirit of her novels.

Return to the Youth Impact Report 2012 >>

Popular on Variety

More Voices

  • Tegna CEO Dave Lougee

    Coronavirus Pandemic Puts a Bright Spotlight on Value of Local TV

    The TV station group Tegna has been the subject of acquisition rumors for nearly a year. Finally, bids started to surface earlier this month that pegged the company’s market value at about $8.5 billion.  But in the space of a week, the assets up for grabs at Tegna have taken on a very different kind [...]

  • SXSW

    How Canceling SXSW Because of Coronavirus Affected These Filmmakers

    The 2020 South by Southwest Film Festival was set to be a career-making moment for many creators, and a particularly bright spotlight for women, as 70% of the films in competition were directed or co-directed by female filmmakers.  But when the 27th edition of the Austin-based festival was canceled on March 6 due to the [...]

  • Sugical mask isolated on yellow surface.

    How I Raised $6,000 During the Coronavirus Pandemic by Asking for Couples' Drama (Column)

    When you have a generalized anxiety disorder and a daily existential crisis, you end up self-isolating long before the city of Los Angeles mandates it. My coronavirus co-quarantine result is an apartment-turned-shared-home-office between a graduate student (my boyfriend) and a social media editor (me) who attempt romance from six feet apart without leaving their loungewear. [...]

  • Sam Mendes Bong Joon Ho 1917

    Final Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win in the Major Categories?

    The 92nd Academy Awards are almost here… For films like “Joker” and “Marriage Story,” the journey to the Oscars began five months ago with their premieres in Venice. “1917” had the least amount of time on the campaign trail: The Sam Mendes war movie didn’t start screening until late November. In the end, however, it [...]

  • Harriet Movie BTS

    Academy Needs to Start Taking Chances With Noms; Rewards Will Follow (Column)

    Throughout its history, the Academy Awards has been subject to intense criticism for the issues it embraces — and ignores. This year’s uproar over the lack of diversity among nominations in the highest-profile awards categories is the latest example. This failure reflects a chronic dearth of opportunity at Hollywood’s top artistic and financial levels. The milestone nominations [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandolorian

    Media Giants Make Smaller Moves With an Eye Toward Future Gains in Streaming Era

    Maybe the empire can strike back. Or at least strike anew. Over the past few months, a number of developments have emerged for traditional media companies that indicate a spirit of reinvention and experimentation is spreading across the industry. There’s a new willingness to take a hard look at long-standing operations and make big and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content